“Truly says Cudworth that the greatest ignorance of which our modern wiseacres accuse the ancients is their belief in the soul’s immortality. Like the old skeptic of Greece, our scientists – to use an expression of the same Dr. Cudworth – are afraid that if they admit spirits and apparitions they must admit a God too; and there is nothing too absurd, he adds, for them to suppose, in order to keep out the existence of God.
The great body of ancient materialists, skeptical as the now seem to us, thought otherwise, and Epicurus, who rejected the soul’s immortality, believed still in a God, and Demokritus fully conceded the reality of apparitions.
The preexistence and God-like powers of the human spirit were believed in by most all the sages of the ancient days. The magic of Babylon and Persia based upon it the doctrine of their machagistia. The Chaldean Oracles on which Pletho and Psellus have so much commented, constantly expounded and amplified their testimony.
Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Epichharmus, Empedocles, Kebes, Euripides, Plato, Euclid, Philo, Boehius, Virgil, Marcus Cicero, Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, Psellus, Synesius, Origen, and, finally, Aristotle himself, far from denying our immortality, support it most emphatically.”
H. P. Blavatsky